FIVE years after the abduction of 13 years old Ese Oruru, the youngest child of Charles Oruru and Rose Oruru, by Mr Dahiru Yunusa in Yenagoa to Kano State, the Federal High Court in Yenagoa has sentenced the abductor to 26 years in prison.
Miss Ese Oruru’s abduction occurred on 12 August 2015 at her mother’s shop in Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.
Yunusa was subsequently arrested and arraigned at the Federal High Court Yenagoa in charge No FHC/YNG/17c/2016 on a five-count charge of criminal abduction, illicit sex, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor.
Delivering the judgement, Thursday, Justice Jane Inyang, sentenced Yunusa to five years in prison for count 2, seven years in prison for count 3,4 and 5 respectively, noting that the prison terms are to be served consecutively.
Yunusa, who appeared in court in handcuffs in a green and white shirt and bathroom slippers, broke down in court after the sentencing, and murmured that he was “treated this way because he is a Muslim”.
Reacting to the judgement, the father of Ese Oruru, Mr. Charles Oruru, said: ”I am very happy with today’s judgement, I believe that this will serve as a deterrent to those engaged in trafficking people’s children. I thank God that the truth has prevailed and I thank God for giving the Judge the strength to deliver this judgement, all my suffering has not been in vain.”
In her reaction, the counsel to the Oruru’s family and immediate past Vice-Chairman of International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, Bayelsa State Chapter, Barr (Mrs) Deme Pamosoo, described the judgement as ” just judgement” and commended the judiciary for doing its best to give a good judgement”, adding that it will serve as a deterrent to paedophiles.
In his reaction, counsel to Yunusa, Mr. Kayode Olaosebikan, said: “I am not comfortable with the part of the judgement that the sentence should run consecutively which invariably means he will spend 24 years in prison, that is the aspect we are not comfortable with, so if at all we want to appeal, that is the aspect but it is dependent on the client if he is ready to go all the way out.
“Though we had something challenges during the course of the trial, there are six other witnesses we needed to have called in this matter, two resident in Bayelsa and four in Kano but none of them were available if you look at the judgement, the court gave us ample time to call our witnesses. I think at our instances there were four to five adjournments where the court indulge us to be able to call the witnesses but they were not forthcoming, so there was nothing we can do.”
The charges against Yunusa read:
Count one-“That you, Yunusa Dahiru, a male, resident in Opolo-Eipie area of Yenagoa in Bayelsa State, conspired with the duo of Dankano Mohammed and Mallam Alhassan, between August 2015 and February 2016, to commit an offence of abduction and thereby committed offence punishable under section 27(a) of the Trafficking in Persons (prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.”
Count two: “That you, Yunusa Dahiru, abducted Ese Oruru by means of coercion, transported and harboured her in Kano State and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 13(2)(b) of the Trafficking in Persons (prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.”
Count three: “That you, Yunusa Dahiru induced Ese Oruru by the use of deception and coercion to go with you from Yenagoa to Kano State with the intent that she be forced or seduced into illicit intercourse and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 15(a) of the Trafficking in Persons (prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.”
Count four: “That you, Yunusa Dahiru, procured Ese Oruru and subjected her to sexual exploitation in Kano State and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16(1) of the Trafficking in Persons (prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.”
Count five: “That you, Yinusa Dahiru, had unlawful carnal knowledge of Ese Oruru without her consent and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 357 of the criminal code Act and punishable under section 358 of the Criminal code ACT, Cap. C.38 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
The count charges were all read out, before his sentence to 26 years imprisonment.